Bulbuls at Vikaspuri, New Delhi

My interest in photography these days has taken me to a new field of interest: bird watching. I haven’t of course gone out of my way to increase my knowledge in this field. I mean, I haven’t read any books on this subject or visited any bird sanctuaries or gone on special trips away from home. I have simply clicked pictures of birds in situations that I found unusual while going about my own routine activities. I now have a huge collection of pics of pigeons, peahens and peacocks, and bulbuls in different poses.

Here are some interesting observations about Bulbuls.

1. They can be bold and fearless: The other day, a Bulbul landed right on my balcony railing. I felt really honored when I found that she did not fly away even after my inching closer and closer to take better pictures of her.

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2. Bulbuls can rotate their heads to almost 360 degrees just like an owl! I did not know that before.

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3. Unlike pigeons, Bulbuls choose their nesting sites very judiciously and put in a lot of thought and planning. Their nests are camouflaged and cannot be detected easily. They look very sturdy and after the eggs are laid, the Bulbuls are fiercely protective as would-be parents. On the morning of 2 May 2015, with her  finger pointing at the big Bamboo tree growing in a huge flower pot in her balcony, my sister said to me, “There is something special for you here. If you peer inside, you will see a small bird sitting in a nest.” Indeed, when I climbed on a chair and took a closer look, I could see a black beak protruding from a nest. The nest was situated right in the center of the tree, close to its top, surrounded by leaves and branches. I was really excited. I tried to take some pics of the scene, but all I could get on the images was a clump of leaves and twigs, and a dark, black space behind them. So I tried to part the branches a little bit and took some more photos. But it was all in vain; the pics did not show what I saw: the black beak and the bird. I found this strange because with the same camera, at 5 AM, a few days ago, when it was pitch dark, I had managed to get a very good photo of a pair of pigeons. Anyway, I ended up shaking the tree a bit and startling the bird. Suddenly the bird dashed out of the nest! It seemed to be in a combative mode. It sat on the railing close by and chirped shrilly. A second later, another bulbul, her mate, appeared and both of them began chirping loudly with their beaks open. It seemed as though they were hurling abuses at me in Bulbulese…Well, I had to give up my attempt that day of clicking a pic of a Bulbul’s nest.

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4. A Bulbul loves its reflection in a mirror. See how she is pecking again and again on her reflection on this glass window. (This is an enhanced pic made by combining several pics and addition of some animation in Google+)…

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5. Here is the latest update as on 11 May 2015. The Bulbul’s eggs inside that Bamboo tree have hatched and now there are 3 little babies! Using a different camera this time, we managed to get a photograph. It is given below. I feel really touched and blessed. What a wonderful sequel to Mother’s Day of 10 May 2015! May God bless these babies and their parents with long and happy lives ahead…

bulbul babies in nest

 

6. Yesterday, 15 May 2015, I tried to check how the babies were doing in their nest.  But their Mom/Dad happened to be close by and from the corner of my eye, I saw a black bird swoop very close to me on the clothes line hanging next to me. I could hear the bird flapping its wings anxiously and chirping very aggressively.  I got scared and gave up.  My husband said, “Let them live in peace. They will let you know when it’s time for the kids to go to school.” Today, I saw the bird with something in her beak sitting near the nest.

 

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